Top Fire Protection Tips for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Tenants
If you operate a facility with deaf or hard of hearing tenants, you need to ensure that they will be safe in the event of a fire. For people with hearing capabilities, they can hear sirens or people yelling to get outside when a fire takes place. For those who are deaf or have trouble hearing, other methods are needed to ensure protection. Below are a few tips to help you create a safe space for tenants who are heart of hearing or deaf.
Strobe Light Installations
A great way to provide an alert system for individuals with hearing problems is to install a fire alarm with a strobe light system. This type of installation was built to help those who have hearing issues. According to Chicago Fire Safety protocols, the lights should be tested on a regular basis to ensure proper operation but once the unit is installed, you have a direct alert system for the deaf or hard of hearing in your building.
When this type of alarm is triggered, it starts to flash. It should wake up most individuals. However, for older tenants, you may need additional alarm systems on top of strobe lights to ensure they wake up if a fire takes place during the nighttime hours.
A suggestion for deaf tenants is that they use a device that creates a notification via vibration. This can include a vibrator for pillows, a shaker for the bed or a small device that can be worn on the individual. The device is activated by the noise of a fire alarm. So, even though the individual cannot hear the alarm, the device does and it alerts them via vibration to wake up and get out.
Mixed Pitch Options
Fire alarms come in many different forms and one option is to have a mixed pitch alarm installed inside the building. This can be used for hearing loss as well as individuals who are heavy sleepers. The alarm will produce a lower pitched sound with mixed tones at 520 Hz. The sound can be heard by more people and can wake tenants up from a deep sleep so they can get to safety. Keeping the Chicago fire safety codes in considering when installing such alarms, helps you to pass inspection and provide an element of safety for your tenants.
Have a Plan
You can also have a plan in place for tenants to get outside in the event of a fire. If you have several deaf or hard of hearing tenants, be sure to have a designated person to assist them if a fire takes place. For close neighbors, they might even have a spare key which could be used to safely access an apartment and ensure the deaf individual is able to wake up and leave safely.
If you have deaf tenants or individuals with hearing loss, take time to create a plan for how you can assist them if a fire were to occur. Alarms and other systems can be put in place that will help everyone in the building be alerted of a fire, including those who may not be able to hear a traditional fire alarm system.